Alt-j, Best Coast and San Fermin illuminate the Hollywood Bowl with stellar performances

alt-j hollywood bowl
alt-j at Hollywood Bowl

It’s now safe to say the entire population of Los Angeles, the United States, and quite possibly the world is well informed about “the triangle.” When I say “the triangle” I’m talking about the incredibly popular indie rock band from Leeds, England that ended up filling the 17,000-capacity Hollywood Bowl this past Thursday night – I’m talking about Alt-J.

Having origins in Brooklyn, New York the first group of musicians to occupy the notorious Hollywood Bowl stage was a rather large ensemble named San Fermin. Consisting of not only standard band instruments San Fermin has a trumpeter, saxophonist, violinist, and several vocalists. Even with a mammoth stage underneath their feet the band decided to stay close together, rather confined. Within the confinement the band enveloped the audience with their own spacey take on pop music. They extruded elements of classical rock, standard day rock, and even classical accents. A lighting setup of soft white, solo light bulbs gave the performance a relaxing visual and an organic feel which exemplified the band’s music.

Best Coast: west coast? Easily… Los Angeles to be more specific. But let’s not point a finger at who’s better than who. Just let it be known that Los Angeles is the quintessential coast and, with being the quintessential coast, comes having fine, super fine music. Best Coast, a rock duo from LA was the next act to perform and provided the audience an electric performance. Even though they’re not Metallica, both Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno (the principle members of the band) turned their amps to full wattage and made their existence known. Playing such hits as “Feeling Ok” and “California Nights” the duo alongside their band support graced the fans with a great hometown show.

Best Coast Hollywood Bowl
Best Coast

Taking their name from the action of pressing the Alt and J keys on a computer, which in turn creates a delta symbol; Alt-J finally took the stage circa 9:30PM. Even as a band as large as Alt-J, one of the band’s vocalist and synth master Gus Unger-Hamilton greeted the audience with a “Hello. It’s great to see you all. This is an incredible night for us, here at the Hollywood Bowl. One we’ll never forget. All thanks to you.” After Gus’ selfless and grateful announcement the band went into playing one of their all-time popular tracks titled “Left Hand Free.” Everyone from young teenagers to “on-the-way-out” type of humans were swaying their hips. To be frank, I was hesitant to shoot the band. To me the few tracks I previewed the day before weren’t my cup of tea. Yeah sure, they were cool, rather popular, but not until I saw this band live, performing more than two tracks that I became hooked. “Tessellate” was one of the tracks they played which gave me goose bumps; the lighting during the song was a spectacle to behold, Joe Newman’s vocals were spot on to what you’d be hearing on a 180 gram LP. All in all the band killed it.

Regardless of your favorite geometric shape or prized key command, Alt-J came and conquered Los Angeles last evening. They showed that their eccentric style of indie rock is here to stay and they’re making sure society, as a whole is aware.

Words & Photography: Timmy Farmer

alt-j hollywood bowl photos
Alt-J

alt-j hollywood bowl photos
Alt-J

alt-j hollywood bowl
Alt-J

alt-j hollywood bowl
Alt-J

Best Coast Hollywood Bowl
Best Coast

Best Coast Hollywood Bowl
Best Coast

San Fermin Hollywood Bowl
San Fermin

San Fermin Hollywood Bowl
San Fermin

San Fermin Hollywood Bowl
San Fermin

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